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August 20, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Boston sees quantum computing as a way to restore its computing reputation

QuEra Computing Inc. is leasing machines to those who want their own device, but it is not cheap.

Chattanooga has made a major bet on quantum computing, but it is clearly not the only city that sees an opportunity in that emerging technology.

Boston, which used to be a global leader in computer manufacturing, has its sights set on leveraging quantum computing to regain that position, according to a recent “Innovation Beat” article in The Boston Globe.

Hiawatha Bray writes that Alex Keesling, Chief Executive Officer of QuEra Computing Inc., thinks the region is about to get a second chance, thanks to the rise of quantum computing. And Keesling is betting that his company can lead the way, as it begins to offer a leasing program to give businesses hands-on access to its machines.

According to Bray’s article, “Users pay about $250 per hour to access (QuEra’s) Aquila via the cloud. The computer is only available for 10 hours a week, though the company plans to expand the system’s availability. For now, QuEra’s computer spends most of its time being used by the company’s scientists or undergoing maintenance. And while traditional computers can run multiple tasks simultaneously, current quantum machines can only tackle one problem at a time. So cloud customers must wait their turns.”

To address that impediment, the company has launched a lease program for customers who want and are willing to pay for a machine solely for themselves. Leases will cost between $3 million and $5 million per year, depending on the varying configurations of the machine.

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